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October 14, 2013

FormsCentral Pro Tip: “For Internal Use Only”

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve encountered a few different individuals who’ve asked me the same interesting question: they had to add a section to their forms that wouldn’t be filled out by the form respondents, but by the people who’d be working with the data. This would be the section you sometimes see on forms called “For Internal Use Only”; it’s a way for administrators and data collectors to categorize or qualify form responses as they read through the submissions. How could they do that with FormsCentral?

As we all pondered the issue, it occurred to us that this was a really, really easy thing to do: all you need to do is add a few extra columns in the response table in the “View Responses” tab. Here’s what I mean:

Internal Use Only columns

All I had to do was add a few extra columns at the end of the response table; I colored them red so I’d know where the form stopped and where my internal-only information began. In this example, the columns were to write down a student’s grade on the quiz, who graded the quiz, and any extra notes about the student’s work. (It’s also worth noting that since the FormsCentral response table supports basic formulas, you could use these columns to compute data using the responses to the form. Fancy!)

The extra columns also allow you to filter your responses according to your own categories instead of having to choose from the questions people answer on your form. If you create a list of categories to apply to each form response as they come in – for example, a grading system like A, A-, B+, B, and so on – you can then go back in and filter the data to show only those quizzes that received grades of A- or better; basically, you’re filtering data according to information you applied to the responses after they were submitted. Here’s how you format a column to restrict the entry options:

  • Open up the “table” menu; it’s the third button from the left when you’re in your View Responses tab:

"Table" menu

  • Click “Choices”, then click “Include a list of choices…”:

Include List of Choices

  • Add choices to populate the list that you’ll be able to choose from when categorizing form responses; when you’re done, click “Close” to return to your responses.

Add Choices

  • Back in your response table, use the drop-down that appears in the selected cell in that column:

Drop down of choices

Forgive me for being a FormsCentral geek for a minute here, but I think that’s SO COOL.

What makes this so helpful is that these columns won’t show up on the form, so there’s no risk of your form respondents seeing the categories or criteria you’re using to organize the submissions; whether you’re grading quizzes, fielding employment applications, or just tagging data, it’s a great way to keep your responses organized and neatly filed on your own terms.

Psst.. do you have a FormsCentral use case you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it! Let us know how you’re using FormsCentral by leaving a comment below.

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5:59 AM Permalink
February 1, 2013

Updates in Acrobat & Reader 11.0.1: Page Syncing with Acrobat.com

Back in the olden days when we all worked with paper documents and read paperback books, the matter of keeping our place in a multiple-page document was straightforward: dog-ear the page, or add a bookmark. If that bookmark falls out, though… well, you’ll be digging through that document saying to yourself “I think the last sentence I read started with the word ‘also’…”. A pain in the neck, and a waste of your time.

Nowadays, we’ve got simpler ways of keeping track of our documents and our progress within them. If you’re reading a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat, for example, you can place bookmarks the same as ever (and these ones won’t fall out); you can also use the navigation bar to jump straight to a page in the middle of the document. Our challenge now is this: what happens when you close that document and reopen it on a different device? You don’t want to have to remember where you were and have to flip to the right page, and you definitely don’t want to have to do that every time you reopen that 60-page contract full of legal-speak.

Today’s solution is Acrobat.com. If you’re using Acrobat or Reader 11.0.1 (the latest and greatest), you can now set your preferences to allow for picking up right where you left off. Read through that contract at your own pace; if, at page 43, you find you need to leave your desk for an appointment across town, upload the document to Acrobat.com with a single click. Then, from the train or the cab or the waiting room, use Adobe Reader Mobile on your tablet or smartphone to open that document from Acrobat.com – and you’ll see that the document opens to the same spot you’d left it when you uploaded it from your desktop computer. Now your page number is just one less thing to think about – with no bookmarks to keep track of.

 

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October 31, 2012

Bridging the Productivity Gap – IDC Video Interview

Looking for more insights from our recent IDC white paper on Bridging the Productivity Gap? Check out this video where Ali Hanyaloglu, senior Acrobat Solutions evangelist, interviews IDC lead analyst and author of the study, Melissa Webster, about some of the research highlights and findings.

The recently released Adobe-commissioned IDC white paper analyzed the current productivity challenges that IT and information workers face in today’s age of digital documents. The study also identifies opportunities for increasing information worker productivity.

With new and improved PDF editing, cloud services integration and enhanced tablet capabilities, Acrobat XI addresses today’s complex document challenges and the problems that compromise the productivity of information workers and IT departments.

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October 22, 2012

Part 1: Acrobat XI Tips and Tricks Series

Just in time for Halloween, we have some Acrobat XI tips and trick-or-treats (yes, we went there) for your learning pleasure.  This is the first in a series of posts where we’ll share how-to videos from the Acrobat channel on Adobe TV that offer tips on working with PDF documents and forms in the recently released Acrobat XI.

Today’s video is all about converting PDF files. Acrobat XI makes it even easier to convert a PDF file into a Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document that you can quickly edit and reuse. Don’t be scared, check it out!

 

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